Home / View Point / Fixing T&T: Does Fr Harvey believe abused parishioners should have chosen their priest wisely?

Fixing T&T: Does Fr Harvey believe abused parishioners should have chosen their priest wisely?

Fixin’ T&T’s open question to Fr Clyde Harvey who asserts that the Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s recent reckless and callous statement was right:

All of the persons across the world who have been abused and exploited by Catholic Priests… Is it that they did not choose their Priest wisely?

Photo: Roman Catholic parish priest Father Clyde Harvey. (Copyright TedXPortofSpain)
Photo: Roman Catholic parish priest Father Clyde Harvey.
(Copyright TedXPortofSpain)

FIXIN’ T&T recognises and appreciates that Fr Harvey went on to address men in our society and the responsibility they have in bringing an end to this epidemic. We forcefully maintain however that, in the matter of violence against women, women are not the problem!

Prime Minister Rowley’s full statement was as follows:

“Approximately one third of the murders in the last month have been domestic related issues. Now, what is the role of the police in preventing that? Or should I say the State?

“You know what the State did? These domestic issues usually start, or ending, with women in difficulty in relationships and the state intervene and puts something called protection order in place to deal with women and their men, that and all is creating a basis for violent crime.

“One third of the murders in recent times are domestic violence or domestic issues, and then you call on the Prime Minister to do something about crime. I am not in your bedroom, I’m not in your choice of men. (Applause from the audience).

“You have a responsibility to determine who you associate with, and know when to get out, and the State will try to help. But then, when the tragedy occurs, and it becomes the Police, the Police must now go the extra mile to ensure there is detection—because in the absence of proper detection those who would ordinarily have been law abiding have an incentive to become law breakers.”

Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

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Fixin TT
Fixin T&T's mission is the realization of good governance to achieve healthy, holistic, and fulfilling lifestyles for all citizens through the study, promotion, and furtherance of strong democratic institutions; sound infrastructure; integrity in public and corporate affairs; and a culture of respect by all for the laws and regulations of the country to create a safe, secure, efficient and productive Trinidad & Tobago.

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80 comments

  1. The “women/black people too” crowd aren’t really interested in improving people’s lives. They resent activists/activism for some reason. Even as a vegan, I encounter people who say “Plants suffer too.” Can you believe it? It’s ridiculous.

  2. Exactly, as if one excuses the other.

    Here is the big irony. Guess who is actually doing something for men who are abused or raped? Is it the men who show up to complain when women activists start to speak and protest and organize against violence against women? Nope.

    When it actually comes to doing the hard work and heavy lifting once again it is the WOMEN, the feminists actually helping men. The first Domestic Shelter Exclusively For Male Victims Rape and Abuse was because of a feminist, liberal advocacy and party in Sweden. Getting the FBI to include males as rape victims in 1970, was helmed by women’s groups like NOW. Advocacy against prison rape in male prisons is also being pushed through by women’s groups. Now I am seeing women’s groups taking up the cause of ending male genital mutilation. What is more, we actually GET THINGS DONE!

  3. It’s a phenomenon happening in discussions of other social problems too. So when we talk about race there’re the folks that say: “Black people are racist too.” It is meant to derail the conversation. I think it’s a new way of maintaining the status quo.

  4. This: “I just hate that when we try to tackle the specific issue of male on female violence due to the very specific sexual and gender dynamics between men and women, people try to derail the conversation by bringing up other forms of violence that have nothing to do with this issue. I hate when men run away from the topic and shake off responsibility with, “Well some women does beat man too.”

  5. Erline Andrews, Exactly! It is primarly men inflicting violence on women and also on other men. Yes male on male violence is also something that must be addressed. Men beating and killing their brothers and even raping them in prison as well.

    I just hate that when we try to tackle the specific issue of male on female violence due to the very specific sexual and gender dynamics between men and women, people try to derail the conversation by bringing up other forms of violence that have nothing to do with this issue. I hate when men run away from the topic and shake off responsibility with, “Well some women does beat man too.” Which is true, make no mistake and is just as inexcusable. But still does not come close to the injures and deaths of women at the hands of men.

    With great power, comes great responsibility. Men are bigger, stronger and they dominate the decision making positions in law enforcement, legal, Government, religious and all other branches of power in this world. So when there is a societal problem and it points to them, they MUST acknowledge their responsibility in it far more so. Passing the buck is cowardly.

  6. What is ‘Fixin TnT’ anyway? Is there a leadership structure? I want some transparency there. Is it one person? Is it a body? Who is in that ‘body’? Let’s know.

  7. More expedient to contextualise and place resources to help both partners in relationships.

  8. Most of the violence in the world originate from men. That’s just a fact. I was surprised to learn that women make up less than 3% of the prison population in T&T. The women’s prison is undersubscribed while the men’s are overflowing.

  9. This place full of petty narrow minded ppl …..wow

  10. I try not to comment on anything that fixin TnT puts up. But this issue of domestic anuse is pusing people question anybodys attempt to offer strong advice. Its WRONG domestic abus that is and no one is blaming the victim neither the PM or the FATHER. all i am hearing from those two men is enough os enough lets put a stop to this behaviour.

  11. This piece is total BS. Why is it ppl with supposedly common sense write such crap!

  12. How is someone being abused by a rapist, priest, teacher, etc as responsible as someone who got abused by their partner, who they CHOSE, even though the partner showed signs or being abusive long before the abuse started?

    Wired868, you all are obviously on nonsense. Your jump in logic is befuddling.

  13. I really think Harvey should talk more about religion.

  14. That man For A Priest Have No Sense Whatsoever

  15. Oh and another thing. We seem to forget the oil and gas is not the only main exports out of T&T. Drugs and guns are as well. Our country is run by cartels. When a recession hits, you will find more and more women (who already part of the mercenary poonanie for money culture) resorting to going with “bad men” because they are the only ones who have money in a recession where thousands of men have been laid off.

    Guess what? You get involved with men from the criminal underworld and you are likely to increase your chances of running into violent and obsessive psychopaths and sociopaths. Go figure. Your chances of winding up dead increase. Your chances of being caught in the cross hairs of turf wars where family is game, increase.

  16. Yea Kwesi, put words in my mouth and start a strawman argument I was never making. Can we stick to the topic on hand please?

  17. ….yeah Jessica…only men violent in Trinidad and the world….yeah….your finger on the pulse there

  18. Stop looking to religious leaders to tell you the truth. There has always been ONE reliable truth-telling source in T&T and that is our artists, our minstrels our social commentators through comedy. They have been speaking honestly about the dyfunctional relationship between men and women in this country for GENERATIONS now.

    Our female calypsonians have more balls than these powerful religious and political men because at least they sing about the double standard of men who feel entitled to horn or leave anytime they like but yet when women leave they are beaten and killed. Denise Plummer was telling the truth which is: our men cannot take tabanca, for all their bluster and big man posturing.

    They are emotionally retarded from having no outlet for pain, sadness, hurt other than alcohol and constantly having to put up a front for their friends or risk homophobic teasing. They are stuck in a toxic macho-culture that makes them feel they own woman and are their masters. They buy women and women are to blame too because they are complicit in the mercenary money for poonanie exchange. Mighty Shadow tells the truth, without money, you cannot get any, you will get horn. Roger Alexis who does the Santana puppet series did one on “Blesser” (sugar daddies).

    What you think happens when recession hits and men get laid off and so cannot own their woman anymore? Their already fragile masculinity takes a blow when she seeks better prospects or goes out to work. You think it is coincidence there has been an escalation during a recession?

    Men with authority who want to uphold traditional values will never speak out against the status quo and are too weak-willed to stand up and tell other men to stop with their emotionally retarded, macho-culture nonsense and that they don’t own women nor are their masters. They skirt and skirt around this CORE REASON for why abuse happens.

  19. Well said Theresa Green… This is becoming ridiculous… But everyone had an agenda..

  20. Kirk waithe talk to us about state agencies wasting taxpayers dollars by renting luxury vehicles.

  21. Smh…here we go once again. Now Fr Harvey’s comments will be dissected and only those parts that will garner support for some folks agendas will heard from the rooftops. I have come to realize, that one-track minded people are like music lovers listening to music, but experience audio distortion from their stereos, and are only able to hear the sounds from one speaker.

  22. I think by now you are willfully ignoring context, explanation or discussion and demanding that your interpretation is the only one. That is bullying. Which is just as callous and obnoxious as you purport the PM to be.

    • There is absolutely no context in which blaming women who are victims of violence and abuse at the hands of men can or must be justified.

    • And YOU are the person, among others, who interpret the comments or bith the priest and the PM as blaming women.

      There is another perspective that it does NOT blame women, any more than advisory from the TTPS to lock the doors of your home at night.

      Your insistence that any other interpretation of the statements as irrelevant or illegitimate can be cos tried as bullheaded, and tantamount to bullying.

    • What is blaming women?Telling women to choose partners carefully in response to a question on domestic violence is ”blaming women”? Had Dr Rowley told his audience to ensure their doors and windows were built of sturdy material and ensure they were shut at night,would he be blaming them for burglary.Kirk Waithe with respect ,rock so eh!!!

    • You continue to say victim blaming and refuse to deal with the crux of the matter, where does one or the majority (because all are not at fault) become responsible? This is geared towards both men and women. How can taking responsibility for ones choices be considered victim blaming. This in no way speaks to the woman, child or man among us who had no choice based on situation. And even then at some point a choice has to be made and you become responsible for making it. For every choice you make there is a consequence not so. The fact remains that there are many persons who made or will make a choice that unfortunately ended or will end with a bad consequence. For those with that choice to choose, choose wisely, consider what the consequence may be down the road when the signs are ignored. We are only humans we will make mistakes, but we also should learn from ours and the ones made around us.

    • To deal with the male issues,the conversation now has to start on cultural behaviour around us and religious beliefs and practices (where men are taught that they are superior). Start are a meaningful conversation on this as a means to also changing the male and female mindset.

    • This is where the Emancipation Committee can do something that will help our society by talking to the men of this country. All part of their focus.

    • Why the Emancipation Committee? That seems to presume a lot…

    • The PM wasn’t talking about domestic violence broadly. He was talking about the murder of women by their partners specifically. He said they should have made a better choice in men. What does he mean by this? That they knew the men were potential murderers when they entered the relationship? Makes no sense. The statement was both callous and dumb.

  23. If Fr. Harvey’s answer to that question is no…meaning that it was not the victims’ fault, he would appreciate how reckless and callous the PM’s statement was.

    • There are times when we need to stop playing up something for more than it is in a effort to be self righteous. I absolutely believe as a PM you have to be mindful and careful with your remarks and that these remarks could be misinterpreted. But there comes a point where one must honestly ask themself what is the true intent of the person making the remark. Is it really a reflection of recklessness and callousness??? Particularly the latter. Was the PM intending to be callous. Stop reflect and ask that question. Don’t rush to answer. I regret to advise you dear sir that you have become such an expert at rabble rousing you cannot effectively mobilize the people around more meaningful engagement.

  24. This thread reiterates my position raft we are now debating nothing but th concept around a debate.

    It had been articulated that Fr. Harvey’s statement addressed both the docialisation and responsibility of men AND the responsibility of all, including women, to be mindful and careful of the situations in which they put themselves.

    But some are vexed that he dare say that the PM had a point. So is it this we actually arguing against a personality in our own iconoclastic style? I think so. And we will do so regardless of the facts, context, or circumstance.

    • Agreed, instead of moving forward with possible solutions, suggested programs etc to curb and deal with a real issue and problem, we choose to berate someone who has worked in the tranches, spoke to all the issues, but did not Mince his words. It’s time for brutal honesty, the truth only offends those who are guilty. Many people who jump on the bandwagon in most cases have not gone through any such experience, before you ask I did.

  25. It is when we muddle up issues as they are doing here that we find it hard to find solutions. Fixin T&T stay focused these are different issues! There is no need to try and justify a position by challenging someone on something that is irrelevant to the discussion. By the way, GBV is not a woman problem it’s all our problem both men and women need to develop the proper attitudes and skills to deal more positively and effectively with how we relate to each other.

  26. Why does fixing T&T post mainly about politics? What’s their stand on the murders and disappearance of our young women?

    What are their suggestions on handling crime and corrupt institutions, both business and government?

    There’s got to be more than politics on their agenda.

  27. We as a society have chosen to get lost in the weeds with this whole nonsense. 9/10s of those making a set of old noise jammin’ still.

  28. Fr Harvey just ha Mercy on everybody including Rowley.

  29. Is this reckless and callous by Fixin’ T&T ?

  30. Groups like Fixing TT have a role in our democratic society. I’ve found them to be balanced and transparent. They and all other civic society groups have my support until proven otherwise

  31. Does Fixing TT think that cheating and lying to one’s spouse is also domestic abuse?

  32. FixinTT needs to get a life! Bloody idiots!

  33. Harvey has me confused . I grew up in Laventille nit far from the success Laventille Catholic Church where he was parish priest. I attended events there frequently. He was always ministering to us the young men in the community about our responsibilities toward our families and communities. So I’m confused as to what he’s agreeing to when he always spoke a doctrine of men being accountable and responsible. Hmmmmmmm

    • Didn’t Father Harvey also address the men in his sermon, and speak about accountability and respect for women and their decisions? Let us pls put his comments in context and stop denigrating everyone and everything…instead of directing our concerns to addressing and acting on the core issues facing us.

    • No one is setting out denigrating him! That’s my point that he has in the past spoken to men about their responsibilities so in then to step up and say the pm was right is contradictory! Leaders must also know when to talk. They must understand tone and timing. Maybe it wasn’t the right time to say what he said but in a scalding cauldron he comes and throws fuel- he should be called on it

    • Brian Harry,father harvey spoke to women to be careful and also to men to be responsible.Please do not promote the dotishness that is being peddled.

    • Ok . I stand corrected. It was reported that he said the PM was right and I reacted to that. Thanks Lance

    • That’s my point these groups rant and rave based on sound bites that they hear and the story that the media house puts out there to get hype.

    • That alone if one really stepped back and cut through the BS should have rung bells.

    • father Harvey is as real as you can get.

    • Lance Noel. Please see the complete text of our statement.
      “Open question to Fr. Clyde Harvey who asserts that the Prime Minister’s recent reckless and callous statement was right:

      All of the persons across the world who have been abused and exploited by Catholic Priests…is it that they did not choose their Priest wisely?

      FIXIN’ T&T recognizes and appreciates that Fr. Harvey went on to address men in our society and the responsibility they have in bringing an end to this epidemic. We forcefully maintain however that, In the matter of violence against women…WOMEN ARE NOT THE PROBLEM!”

    • Brian Harry. Please see the full text of our statement:
      “Open question to Fr. Clyde Harvey who asserts that the Prime Minister’s recent reckless and callous statement was right:

      All of the persons across the world who have been abused and exploited by Catholic Priests…is it that they did not choose their Priest wisely?

      FIXIN’ T&T recognizes and appreciates that Fr. Harvey went on to address men in our society and the responsibility they have in bringing an end to this epidemic. We forcefully maintain however that, In the matter of violence against women…WOMEN ARE NOT THE PROBLEM!”

    • Kirk Waithe you saw my comments. I believe that leaders must be careful about – timing, tone, content and must be empathetic. When we are all aggrieved at what’s happening with (ooops I was told I shouldn’t use our women) women one has to be sure that their messages address are well timed and articulated. Again I’m in full support of the work of groups like Fixing TT

    • Brian Harry. Greatly appreciated. I shared the full text of our statement simply to reiterate that we acknowledged that Fr. Harvey spoke to the role and responsibility of men.

    • Brian Harry…ignoring the headline, and taking into consideration he did call out the men, but as a representative of the church, if you are married and being abused by your spouse, does his sentiment inspire confidence to go to the church to seek assistance/counselling in the situation? If we are objective as women, would we not feel judged and that the church might not help? Keep in mind most religions stance about divorce. Listen to the message being sent! Ppl not familiar with him can only speak based on what was reported and said.

    • For the record. I know Fr. Harvey. We get along very well. I hold him in very high regard and am a fan and admirer of his work and courage. That said, none of us is above reproach. Dr. Rowley’s recent controversial statements placed the burden of blame and responsibility squarely on the victims. That was wrong, insensitive and ignorant and so is any defense of it.

    • Brian Harry that is the point i was making and will continue to stress. Many times ppl make assumptions and post based on incorrect reporting, statements taken out of context or what some may call ‘fake news’. It is a real problem.

    • Kirk Waithe ,are you aware of the question that was aked of Dr Rowley when he made his comment?What was the intent of the PM’s statements,Kirk Waithe?Do you honestly believe that Dr Rowley blames women for men abusing them?Shouldn’t women be careful in choosing who they submit themselves to? To maintain relevance one must not appear to act like a pothound running and barking at eveerything that passes by.There are so many important issues to be addressed in this country,stop being a nuisance.

    • Lance Noel. 1). I attended that event in Maloney. 2). Irrespective of what the question was VICTIM blaming is never the answer. 3). I believe that Dr. Rowley is entirely insensitive to women’s issues. 4). Violence against and abuse of women is very high on our list of issues to be addressed in this country.

    • Your 3 may be prejudicing your onterpretation of the comment as 2.

    • You believe someone is insensitive is or you know. You can’t make these assumptions about people especially when you don’t 100% know that answer yourself, you too can be considered to be falsely labeling
      .

    • Kirk Waithe ,how is telling women to be careful in their choice of partners victim blaming.That is bullshit,Get real Kirk waithe.

  34. Methink they have gone too far with this issue. Crossed the line and need to have have them be more condiderate..

  35. At this point I think FixingT&T has jumped the shark completely.

  36. If it is anyone fixing TNT should leave alone is Father Harvey.. they have no clue what he has done, seen and continues to do. They can only dream to do 1/3 if it. Just jump on the band wagon. Steups.